verb (used with object), hemmed, hem·ming.
- helvétius, claude adrien,
- hem and haw,
- hem in,
Origin of hem1
verb (used without object), hemmed, hem·ming.
Origin of hem2
Examples from the Web for hemming
After some hemming and hawing, Yusaf finally replied with, “Why do you have to insult the Prophet?”
After 500 pages of hemming and hawing by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Roethlisberger was never criminally charged.
“It was the only part of the script I was hemming and hawing over whether to use the language from the comic book,” Vaughn said.
You cannot keep her from sewing and hemming all Sunday in her garret.The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4)|Thomas Babington Macaulay
You have learned the hemming stitch; now you will try the hemstitch.Clothing and Health|Helen Kinne
Still they were moving on, when Hemming, recovering himself, called them back.
The hemming shows that no skilful seamstress held the needle.
Jack was about to douse the light, but Hemming told him to let it burn on.
verb hems, hemming or hemmed (tr)
Word Origin for hem
verb hems, hemming or hemmed
late 14c., "to provide (something) with a border or fringe" (surname Hemmer attested from c.1300), from hem (n.). Related: Hemmed; hemming. The phrase hem in "shut in, confine," first recorded 1530s.
Old English hem "a border," especially of cloth or a garment, from Proto-Germanic *hamjam (cf. Old Norse hemja "to bridle, curb," Swedish hämma "to stop, restrain," Old Frisian hemma "to hinder," Middle Dutch, German hemmen "to hem in, stop, hinder"), from PIE *kem- "to compress." Apparently the same root yielded Old English hamm, common in place names (where it means "enclosure, land hemmed in by water or high ground, land in a river bend"). In Middle English, hem also was a symbol of pride or ostentation.
If þei wer þe first þat schuld puplysch þese grete myracles of her mayster, men myth sey of hem, as Crist ded of þe Pharisees, þat þei magnified her owne hemmys. [John Capgrave, "Life of Saint Gilbert of Sempringham," 1451]
late 15c., probably imitative of the sound of clearing the throat. Hem and haw first recorded 1786, from haw "hesitation" (1630s; see haw (v.)); hem and hawk attested from 1570s.